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Friday, May 6, 2011

Shepherds Pie

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Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie is an old school favorite but when not done right resembles scary cafeteria grub. One of the best things about Shepherds Pie is you can tailor the recipe to your taste, budget and servings needed. Go from rich and creamy to simple and low fat with ease. Making a meatless version works too. Add your own twist to Shepherds Pie. The Cooking Lounge Shepherds Pie recipe is traditional with the flavors bumped up a few notches. 
Shepherds Pie
2lbs lean ground beef
1.5 lbs potatoes (peeled, diced and cooked)
2 large onions
10oz baby portabella mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic, a bit more if you like
2.5 cups diced fresh carrots
1 cup green peas
fresh parsley 
dried herbs, try a mix of sage, tarragon and rosemary
olive oil
1/4 wine (red or white)
Preparation Guide:
Saute mushrooms in butter with 1/8 cup white wine and a few tablespoons of milk or cream. Season to taste. Set aside. 
Saute onions in a little olive oil with salt and pepper for 5 minutes. Add diced carrots and continue to saute till carrots are tender but not soft. 
Saute ground beef; season with dried herbs, fresh garlic, salt and pepper plus 1/8 cup of white wine. Add fresh parsley when browned. Add the mushrooms in cream sauce that was put aside and mix in with the ground beef; set aside. 

Make your favorite version of mashed potatoes to top the Shepherds Pie then set aside. This is where you can get super creative by adding cheese, heavy cream, pureed celery root and so on. In the Cooking Lounge recipe, we went light on butter (add some olive oil) and milk/cream then mixed in some fresh chopped parley.

Time to combine the earthy ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350. In a large baking pan (13x9 or larger), spread the ground beef and mushroom mixture evenly, toss the peas on top next, then add the carrots and onions. Layering on the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the top with chopped parsley to add color. Bake until golden brown, approximately 35 minutes. 

I was hoping for leftovers; but, the Pearl St gang devoured the Shepherds Pie. Also, Shepherds Pie is an amazing, almost luxurious meal when made with lamb. Visit soon, more about lamb in upcoming post.
photos: wbj
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